VTS helps students explore works of art in a way that allows them to connect their own experiences and knowledge - in other words - students make meaning on their own terms. Rather than imparting didactic information to students, these open-ended discussions help students to develop visual literacy, flexible, rigorous critical thinking skills, and to strengthen their language and listening skills. In addition, VTS nurtures problem-solving abilities and builds student’s confidence and willingness to participate in group thinking and discussion processes. These skills and abilities are essential for students in the 21st century.

Experience with VTS produces growth in students of all abilities and all year levels. In addition, teachers enjoy the process and benefit from a new approach that reaches all students and is useful across their practice.

Heide has been using VTS to help students explore artworks during gallery visits since 2012. In 2014 the museum partnered with a local secondary school to trial a VTS multi-visit program across several year levels.

The results of Heide’s VTS programs include:*

  • Improvements in students’ visual, oral and written literacy
  • Increased participation and engagement in discussing art
  • Building teachers’ capacity and confidence to facilitate open-ended discussions
  • Students gaining personal connections to works of art and museums, upon which to build a lifelong appreciation of art

*As evidenced through our pilot school partnership with Koonung Secondary College 2014–2016

VTS expands students’ capability for Critical and Creative Thinking as identified in The Victorian Curriculum

Want to get involved in VTS? You can book your student group into a Responding to Art: Visual Thinking Strategies program at Heide.